Positive Speakers Urge Britain to Wake Up to HIV/AIDS Pandemic
May 20, 2002
Prominent AIDS activists from some of the countries worst affected by the global pandemic gathered in London May 10 to mark the end of a 10-day nationwide tour designed to provide a "wake-up call" in Britain about the scale and impact of the virus.Adapted from:
"Some of the people I have spoken to while here in Britain were amazed to hear of the daily difficulties I face as an HIV-positive woman in Nigeria," said Yinka Jegede, secretary-general of the Nigerian AIDS Alliance, as the speaker tour came to a close.
Lack of access to treatments and inadequate medical facilities were just two of the barriers to a healthier life for people with HIV that Jegede talked about with footballers, religious figures, students, lawmakers, and campaigners in the English cities of Oxford, Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, and Leicester.
Jegede was accompanied on the "United Against AIDS" tour -- organized by British-based Stop AIDS Campaign, which includes Youth Against AIDS, Oxfam and Save the Children -- by Vijay Nair of the Indian Network of Positive People; Stacey Wilson from Guyana; who represents the Caribbean Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS; and Mandla Majola of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign.
"The Stop AIDS Campaign is delighted to be able to give a platform to these activists from around the world who so eloquently and passionately give a wake-up call to those mired in complacency and inaction," said Liz Dodd, manager of the Stop AIDS Campaign. "To our shame, to date the international community has consistently failed to rise to the challenge of tackling HIV/AIDS," she added.
Audiences are being asked to fill out cards addressed to Prime Minister Tony Blair demanding that the British government invest the equivalent of $1 billion in the fight against HIV/AIDS, step up efforts to write-off the external debt of developing countries, and make affordable medicines available to impoverished countries.
05.13.02; Penny Dale
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.